Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

September 09 2014

People on the Move This Month


Karen Mahoney, Stephanie Grimaldi, Nathan Hermiston

Meet Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association announced a number of appointments:  Karen Mahoney is the new destination sales business development manager. She brings 25 years of travel and hospitality industry experience and a strong sales background to the role, having previously served as group sales representative for the Mall of America. Before that, she worked as meetings, events and conference manager for Cygnus Business Media; Stephanie Grimaldi has been promoted to manager of East Coast national accounts and will oversee all teams responsible for those accounts. She joined Meet Minneapolis in 1998 and has 25 years of industry experience; Nathan Hermiston has been appointed director of destination sales, responsible for all non-East Coast accounts. He joined Meet Minneapolis in 2010 as a national account executive and has been instrumental in many sales successes.

Chet Burchett

Global trade show company Reed Exhibitions has appointed Chet Burchett CEO of the company, and Mike Rusbridge, who previously held that title, will remain in his other role as executive chairman.

Jorge Collazo

Jorge Collazo has been appointed regional director of sales and marketing for the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Most recently, Collazo was regional director of sales and marketing for Gansevoort Hotel Group.

Manny Corral

Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida, has named Manny Corral director of sales and marketing. Corral previously was director of sales and marketing for the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort & Casino and Westin Aruba Resort.

Marilyn Cruz

The Hotel Indigo Newark Downtown in Newark, New Jersey, has named Marilyn Cruz director of sales and marketing. Cruz most recently served on a sales task force for Crestline Hotels and Resorts in Fairfax, Virginia.

Benjamin Shih

Fairmont San Jose, California, has named Benjamin Shih director of sales and marketing. Most recently, Shih was director of sales and marketing at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

Nancy Walsh

Reed Exhibitions North America has continued to grow its business into the U.S. and Mexico and leading that charge has been Nancy Walsh, executive vice president for North American Tradeshows. Effective immediately, Walsh, who has been with Reed for 29 years, was promoted to president, Reed Exhibitions North America.  Most recently, Walsh has been the senior executive responsible for opening the Mexican market for Reed Exhibitions.

Patricia Bradley

Grand Lucayan on Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas, has named Patricia Bradley national sales manager. Most recently, Bradley was national sales manager for Curacao’s Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort.

David Casey

David Casey has been named area director of sales and marketing for Thompson Miami Beach. Casey most recently was executive director of marketing and sales at The Setai.

Catherine Ann Johns

Sofitel New York has appointed Catherine Ann Johns director of sales. Johns most recently was director of catering and convention services for the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa in Honolulu.

Matthew Watts

Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos, Orlando, has named Matthew Watts director of music and marketing – hotels and casinos. Previously, Watts lead the artist management department of Advanced Alternative Media out of the New York office.

Mike Lyons

Meetings and travel industry veteran Michael Lyons, who recently left Reed Travel Exhibitions as Exhibition Director for IBTM America (formerly AIBTM), is walking his talk.

Over the past 20+ years as he built a successful track record in the hospitality industry, he maintained a sideline career as a professional actor, amassing an impressive list of credits in TV shows, films and commercials. Along the way he added professional speaker to his resume, and is now devoting full time to those ventures, in addition to some select industry consulting projects.

Lyons has resurrected his dormant acting career which he had to put on hold the past two years while he was managing AIBTM. First up: an appearance playing a senator on the popular Netflix series “House of Cards”.

On the speaker side, he has dozens of speaking engagements under his belt and is a PCMA “Best in Class” speaker. He is scheduled to speak at the PCMA Southwest & Pacific Chapter program in September in Phoenix and other speaking assignments are in the works. Though most of his talks have been to meeting industry audiences, Lyons is planning to branch out into other industries as well. Lyons can be reached at mlyons@lyonspride.us.

Meg Fasy

With 24 years of sales and marketing experience, Meg Fasy has been appointed vice president of sales at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. She will be responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction for all of the Bellagio’s sales efforts. Fasy most recently served as vice president of industry relations at PSAV, a supplier of audio/visual and event technology to hotels and meeting planners worldwide.

Brian King

Marriott International has named Brian King global officer, Marriott signature brands and global sales. King most recently was senior vice president, brand management and portfolio programs, for Marriott.

Faye Memoli

Visit Orlando has hired Faye Memoli as senior national account executive for the Mid-Atlantic Region and Kelly Albert, senior national account executive for the Northeast Region. In this new role, Memoli will be responsible for convention sales in the Washington, D.C., market, where she also will reside. Memoli joins the team from Choose Chicago, where she was most recently director of Eastern regional sales.

Marco Bloemendaal

Marco Bloemendaal will join the staff of VISIT Milwaukee as senior vice president of sales effective Sept. 8. Bloemendaal is currently senior vice president of convention sales and services for VISIT Seattle. He also spent five years as director of convention sales at Experience Columbus and four years as senior national sales executive at the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Jody Ulich

Jody Ulich has been appointed to the position of Director of Convention and Cultural Affairs, for The City of Sacramento. Ulich has over 30 years of experience in the performing and visual arts field, including strategic planning, project management, theater management and budget administration. She comes to Sacramento from Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Texas where she served as the President of the Arts Council for the last seven years.

Joseph E. Spinnato

Joseph E. Spinnato has announced that he will step down as president of the Hotel Association of New York City and retire at the end of 2015, after holding the post for 27 years.

Patrick Connors

The Wigwam in Phoenix has named Patrick Connors vice president of resort sales and marketing. Previously, Connors was director of sales and marketing at Riviera Palm Springs.

Jill Harlow

Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona, has appointed Jill Harlow director of marketing. Harlow previously was director of marketing for RED Development

Jerry Jensen

Jerry Jensen has been named director of sales and marketing for Hotel Contessa in San Antonio, Texas. Previously, Jensen was director of sales and marketing for Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Tate Husband

Fairmont Jakarta has named Tate Husband director of sales and marketing. Husband most recently was director of sales and marketing at Swissôtel Grand Shanghai.

Brian Cassell

Cygnus Business Media appointed Brian Cassell as group show manager for Firehouse events. Brian will be responsible for the overall performance of Firehouse Expo in Baltimore, Md, and Firehouse World, in San Diego. Cassell is a 20-year fire service veteran, serving on the marketing team for fire apparatus manufacturer KME for 10 years and as a volunteer firefighter with the Tamaqua, Penn., Fire Department.

Tracey Megee

The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau named Tracey Megee as its new national accounts manager. Megee, who began her new position in July, will be responsible for the North East market, booking groups between 200 to 1,499 guestrooms on peak night.

Joan Ferraro

Hyatt Regency Cambridge named Joan Ferraro as the new director of sales and marketing.  Ferraro previously held the position of director of sales & marketing, Boston Marriott Quincy Hotel; director of sales & marketing Newport Marriott Hotel, Rhode Island; director of corporate sales, Boston Marriott Copley Place Hotel; sales manager, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau and several sales and catering positions at The Sheraton Boston Hotel & Towers.

Kavin Schieferdecker

Hilton Anatole in Dallas has promoted Kavin Schieferdecker to director of sales and marketing. Schieferdecker previously was the hotel’s director of sales.

Alex Batista

Kimpton’s Surfcomber Miami, South Beach has named Alex Batista director of sales and marketing. Previously, Batista was director of sales at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach.

Joe Brunini

Joe Brunini has been named president of global marketing and customer development at Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas. Brunini most recently was president, marketing and customer development, for MGM Resorts International.

Chris George

La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort and PGA West in La Quinta, California, have appointed Chris George director of marketing. George most recently was director of digital marketing for the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Michael Swyney

Michael Swyney has been appointed vice president of sales and marketing at the Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach and Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa in California. Most recently, Swyney was director of sales and marketing at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa on Mission Bay.

Nick Brooks-Sykes

Nick Brooks-Sykes, currently chief executive of Bath Tourism Plus, has been appointed to a new role as director of tourism at Marketing Manchester. He previously worked as director of tourism at the North West Development Agency and head of marketing services at the North West Tourist Board.

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